Family worship is a daily reminder to our children that God is at the center of our lives. It’s one thing for our children to hear us talk about Christianity occasionally when we have friends over and for them to be taught the faith at church.
It’s another thing entirely to have them witness parents who daily cling to the promises of God in Christ and practice the faith in the home. If you’ve never worshiped in the home before, family worship can seem intimidating. You may not know where to begin.
Here are a few ideas to get you and your family going.
1. Read the Bible together.
It doesn’t need to be a very long passage, but reading a chapter or two either before or after your meal should suffice. After reading a passage, explore what you have read by discussing key themes in the text.
Ask your children and/or spouse questions: What did this mean for the original hearers? How does this passage point us to Christ? What does the passage mean for us? It’s also helpful to write out key verses on a flashcard to post on the fridge for the whole family to memorize each week.
2. Pray together.
Use forms of prayer occasionally, such as the Lord’s Prayer (“Our Father who art in heaven…”) or “God be merciful to me, a sinner. Amen.” These can be especially helpful to young children, since they are easy to memorize and recite.
Rotate around the whole family so that each week every family member has had a chance to pray. Use acronyms like ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication) or PRAY (Praise, Repent, Ask, and Yield) to assist you in prayer. Base your prayers upon the scripture passage you have read together.
3. Sing together.
You don’t need to sing for a whole night, but sing together as a family. Singing just the doxology will do (“Praise God from whom all blessings flow; praise him all creatures here below; praise Him above ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”), or try learning a hymn or a psalm together by choosing a song to sing for the whole month. It can also be especially fun for the kids if they get to pick a psalm or hymn out of a hymnal to sing each evening. Consider also singing songs that your church tends to sing, reinforcing during the week what happens on Sundays.
Deuteronomy 6:7 reminds us, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” The Apostle Paul instructs us to bring up our children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Family worship is one means toward that end—that our children and we might have the “word of Christ dwell in [us] richly” (Col. 3:16).
All that is read, prayed, and sung during family worship will spill over into the rest of our daily lives.